The Communication Trust Newsletter
October 2016


The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 voluntary and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. We harness our collective expertise to support the children’s workforce and commissioners to support all children and young people’s communication skills, particularly those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

We have developed a catalogue that provides information on the products and services available from our Consortium that are useful for schools and those working with children and young people. The catalogue is available to download on our website.

The Trust relies on brilliant, local practitioners who are able to spread the word on the importance of speech, language and communication where it is needed most. If this sounds like you, find out more about how to become a Local Champion for The Communication Trust. For more information, please email:

In addition to this, the Trust has recently developed a new network, Language Leaders, specifically for head teachers, deputy/assistant heads and other senior leaders who are able to emphasise the importance of communication skills within their schools and networks. You can find out more about Language Leaders here or by emailing


No Pens Day Wednesday 2016 Evaluation Survey - Win a set of The Communication Trust's Progression Tools!

NPDWThe Communication Trust would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that participated in No Pens Day Wednesday 2016 - it was a huge success! In total we had over 5,700 schools and settings signing up to take part. It was brilliant to see so many schools sharing their pictures of the day with us on social media using the #nopensday hashtag – you can view some of them by clicking here!

If you took part please complete our No Pens Day Wednesday 2016 survey, which can be accessed by going to The survey will be open until the 14th November 2016 and everyone that completes it will be entered into a prize draw to win a set of The Communication Trust's Progression Tools, worth over £100!

Your survey responses have been extremely helpful in previous years, and were the basis for us adding No Pens Day homework as our theme for 2016. Your feedback is absolutely essential in helping us improve No Pens Day Wednesday for next year and for being able to assess the impact that this year's event had.

Don't forget, if you have photos or any quotes/feedback from staff, parents or pupils that you’d be happy to share, you can send them to Jack Williams on Equally we'd also love to receive completed pupil evaluation forms and case study templates!



Do you need to know how effective your services are?e Shine A

Evaluation GuideThe Communication Trust has developed an evaluation guide, ‘Building an approach to self evaluation’ to support small voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations who deliver children’s speech, language and communication services to make a start with more impactful evaluation. The guide runs through 6 key steps to take when planning evaluation for your organisation.

It will support you in exploring how to collect good quality data to inform decisions about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your services. It will also support you to communicate the difference you make more clearly to others, including your funders.

This new guidance can be accessed on The Trust's new ‘Developing and Using Evidence’ page here.


Update of terminology - SLI/LLI becomes Development Language Disorder

DPDA group of 57 international experts including speech and language therapists, psychologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, specialist teachers and charity representatives known as “CATALISE” have taken part in a study to reach a consensus on the long-disputed criteria and terminology for children’s language difficulties. 

The term ‘Developmental Language Disorder’ (DLD) will be used going forward to describe what has been widely know as specific language impairment (SLI) or language learning impairment (LLI). In short, this describes language disorders that are unexplained in origin and not associated with known conditions e.g. Down's syndrome or autistic spectrum disorder. A journal article containing full details of the decision, criteria for DLD and the research leading to it can be found here, you can also join in the conversation on Twitter using #devlangdis.



Updated DfE statistics on speech, language and communication needs

The Department for Education have recently released phonics screening and key stage 1 assessment data for 2016. 
This year's phonics data show that less than half of all children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as their primary need achieved the expected standard of phonic decoding in Year 1. The attainment gap between children with no identified special educational needs (SEN) and children with SLCN as a primary need for phonics was 40%.

For key stage 1 the attainment gap between pupils with no identified SEN and those with SLCN as a primary need was between 46%-51% across reading, writing, maths and science. For the full release, please click here.





News from our members

The Communication Trust is a Consortium of over 50 voluntary sector organisations. We bring together our expertise to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of all children and young people are met through signposting, specialist training, support and guidance to people working with children and young people.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trust’s Consortium please go to or for more information email

Ambitious about Autism - Campaign to prevent children with autism missing out on school

Ambitious about AutismAmbitious about Autism have launched a campaign to prevent children with autism missing out on school. A recent report by the charity titled ‘When Will We Learn’ used information from a survey of 745 children and young people, parents and carers. It highlighted that 45% of children with autism have been sent home illegally or denied a full education.

The campaign focuses on ensuring that teaching staff are well trained and supported to meet the needs of children with autism in the classroom. More information can be found here.

I CAN Impact Report 2015-16

I CAN I CAN have recently launched their 2015-16 Impact Report. The report contains new visual graphics to demonstrate the scale, impact and significance of children’s speech, language and communication needs as well as the impact of their continuous efforts to speak out on behalf of all children and young people with SLCN. You can view an online version of the report here.  

Highlights from the year include: 

  • Trained workforce – I CAN helped train 950 early years settings to support children’s early language; 2,679 children benefitted from Early Talk Boost and 27,000 children with delayed language were helped by their programme Talk Boost KS1
  • Outstanding schools - Both I CAN’s schools maintained an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating and 100% of Dawn House leavers moved on to further education or employment
  • Enquiry Service - 405,007 people received crucial information for helping their children’s communication skills through I CAN’s Talking Point website and 100% of callers rated the service highly.

Looking forward, I CAN will continue in their efforts to make sure children’s language skills become a policy priority. I CAN aim to continue to expand their reach, identify opportunities for intervention and make sure speech, language and communication remain central to the agenda for change.

National Literacy Trust's Talk To Your Baby Conference 2017: Early Language in a Connected World

NLTThe National Literacy Trust’s early years conference is back for its 13th year on 13th March 2017 at London Metropolitan University. Talk To Your Baby brings together a wide range of delegates from different disciplines across the sector to reflect and offer expert perspectives on policy, research and practice.  

The conference focuses on translating research into practice, and this year will highlight the importance of influences on early language development in pre-schoolers, particularly ages 0-3.

Specialist practitioners and academics will discuss impact on early talk from three key areas: child to parent interaction, practice in settings, and factors in the wider community including public health and technology.

Chaired by Jean Gross CBE and with representation from the local government, academia and neonatal public health, the conference offers valuable opportunties for collaboration.

To find out more and book your place at an early bird price of £195, please click here.


Contact us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email
The Communication Trust, 31 Angel Gate, Goswell Road, London, EC1V 2PT


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